6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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The federal government may build the nation’s first 5G wireless network. According to Reuters:

President Donald Trump’s national security team is looking at options to counter the threat of China spying on U.S. phone calls that include the government building a super-fast 5G wireless network, a senior administration official said on Sunday.

The official, confirming the gist of a report from Axios.com, said the option was being debated at a low level in the administration and was six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself.

The chief of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) in China quit. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The head of Ford Motor Co. in China resigned Monday after less than six months on the job, compounding the U.S. auto maker’s challenges as it tries to rev up flagging sales in the world’s largest car market.

Jason Luo quit “for personal reasons” and his departure “was not related to the business strategy or performance of Ford China,” Ford’s Asia-Pacific President Peter Fleet said in a statement. No replacement was immediately named.

Lewis D’Vorkin, the editor-in-chief of the L.A. Times, owned by Tronc Inc. (NASDAQ: TRNC), left the paper after contentious relations with his staff. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The Los Angeles Times will replace editor-in-chief Lewis D’Vorkin just months into a tumultuous tenure marked by tensions surrounding a newsroom unionization push and misconduct allegations against the newspaper’s publisher, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. D’Vorkin, who was named the Times’ editor in October, will become chief content officer for the paper’s parent company, Tronc Inc., the person said.

He will be replaced by Jim Kirk, the former editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, the person said.

“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” was number one at the box office this past weekend. According to Box Office Mojo:

Despite a 25% decline compared to the opening for its predecessor, Fox’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure still managed a #1 finish at the weekend box office. Meanwhile, Entertainment Studios saw Hostiles deliver a solid performance as it expanded nationwide, Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman continue to hold strong, The Shape of Water expands with strong numbers on the heels of its 13 Oscar nominations and Viva’s Padmaavat secures a spot in the top ten despite playing in just 324 theaters. All told, the weekend’s top twelve was still down ~7% compared to last year as January has slowed to a crawl.

U.S. energy exports have surged. According to CNNMoney:

The resurgence of the oil industry can be traced back to what happened in Congress one day in December 2015.

That’s when lawmakers ended the 40-year ban on U.S. oil exports. Crude pumped in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota could suddenly be shipped overseas.

At the time, a glut of supply was wreaking havoc on the energy industry. Crude eventually crashed to $26 a barrel.

But that glut is disappearing, thanks in part to booming oil exports from the United States. Crude that was once trapped inside the country is now going to Europe, Latin America and even China.

The United States exported a record 1.7 million barrels of oil per day in October 2017, according to the most recent stats from the Energy Information Administration. That’s four times as much as in 2015, when federal law prohibited shipping oil to most places except Canada.

Elon Musk may start selling flamethrowers. According to The Mercury News:

Elon Musk, the mastermind behind PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, has another innovative product up in his sleeve: a $500 flamethrower.

Musk announced the flamethrower on Saturday, after weeks of teasing a possible flamethrowing product for his newest venture, The Boring Company. The Boring Company’s mission is to excavate a low-cost but fast-digging tunnel through Los Angeles to help alleviate its notorious car traffic.